Saturday, 11 January 2014

Can't Help It: It's Just in My DNA

(This reading is based on Proverbs 7 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.)
"Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' and call understanding your nearest kin." Prov. 7: 4
One significant difference between a relative and a friend is that you have no choice in who your relative is; you are inescapably bonded by blood (written in your DNA). A friend, on the other hand, is someone who is in your life by choice; today you may choose to have them in your inner circle, tomorrow you may decide to part company, and that's it. Not so with a blood relative - you are linked for life, albeit that you may choose to have a close relationship, or not, with that relative.
There are some medical conditions that do not necessarily result from lifestyle choices, but are simply the result of the family you are born in. You will find that when you are exposed to certain conditions your body may produce an involuntary physiological response that creates a medical emergency. You are allergic and you cannot help how your body responds.
So here we find Solomon musing at the thought, "What if wisdom were your sister, and understanding your close relative, such that the involuntary response of wisdom to a unsavoury situation would automatically kick in - as if there were an allergy; written in your DNA?" Well, beyond mere musing, Solomon is actually here challenging us to MAKE wisdom our sister, and understanding our nearest kin. So when it comes to saying no to adultery and all sin, it's a case where I, "Can't help it: it's in my DNA."
Perhaps a more realistic rendering of this verse however is captured in the NASB where it says, "call understanding your INTIMATE FRIEND." This allows for the idea that all of the above is going to be possible only by CHOICE and not by involuntary action. A combination of the sister and intimate friend concepts implies that the consistency and predictability of our choices to do the correct thing may be brought to a science (working like DNA). Praise the Lord, we can choose to make wisdom our treasured sister with whom we have an intimate relationship. Amen.

Read and/or listen to Proverbs 7 and to read other related blogs, please click here.